Accidental Release of Convicted Criminal

Flag of Miami-Dade County, Florida

Flag of Miami-Dade County, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Miami-Dade jail released an inmate who had been convicted only an hour before due to proclaimed communication errors.  36-year-old Dexter Davis had been convicted of attempted murder.  In 2009, Davis used a butcher knife to stab his girlfirend 15 times.  Davis was charged with attempted murder in October of 2011 following this crime.  Davis also had been convicted on three other charges. Due to the nature of the crime, Judge Daryl Trawick clearly stated that Davis was to be held without bond.

Reports say that the reason the error occurred was because Davis had originally been convicted of four crimes, one of which he had completed time for, and it was incorrectly recorded that he had served time for all of the crimes rather than just the one.  Miami-Dade Corrections Director Timothy Ryan stated that the information that was on the record was not entirely correct and that is what lead to the inappropriate dismissal of Davis.

It is reported that Davis himself even questioned the jailors actions because he knew he had just been convicted and that the judge explicitly told him that he was to be held without bond.  The jailors double-checked the paperwork when they were questioned.  The paperwork clearly stated that Davis was to be released, and therefore the jail released the freshly convicted attempted murderer.

The University of Miami Hospital’s psychiatric ward took Davis back into custody once the mistake had been recognized and Davis was then returned to jail where he would remain without bond.  This case brings up the importance of accurate record keeping and accountability.  Obviously the jail’s system of checks and balances was not working correctly and the jail makes no attempts to hide the mistake.  Ryan stated that procedures need to be looked at and changes are necessary in order to keep mistakes like this from happening in the future.

Ryan stated that there was initial miscommunication between the court itself and his officer, which ultimately lead to the inappropriate release of Davis. Ryan did mention that new rules will include a supervisor held accountable to check forms so that future mistakes of this nature are not made again.  Ryan also explained that further training is necessary and that the jail system will take appropriate action to make sure that erroneous releases like this do not happen in the future.




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